A person without a degree is often viewed as low-class, unintelligent, unsuitable for leadership and innovation. The social stigma that comes with not having a degree is enormous, leaving you to be judged as a non-intellectual by your fellow peers and employers. This could not be further from the truth; in fact blue collared jobs require enormous amount of know how and brain power. Mike Rose, the author of Blue-Collar Brilliance, described his mother Rosie's place of employment as a waitress to be hectic and “ acquires knowledge and intuition about the ways and the rhythms of the restaurant business” (Rose). Rose's mother's long years of being employed as a waitress gave her the knowledge and education to handle the high demands; both physical and mental. A waitress is not only on her feet all day, performing physical repetitive work, but also memorizing orders, attending to customers needs and solving problems on the fly. Rose's mom learned to “work smart” and “to make every move count”, and she acknowledged that “There isn’t a day that goes by in the restaurant that you don't learn something” (Rose). Since most of Rosie's take home wages consisted of tips from customers, she watched for social cues and gestures of customers in order to accommodate the needs of guests accordingly, making her almost like a self thought street psychologist.
Although Rosie had quit school in the seventh grade, it is clear she can perform in a high-demand environment. She can adapt and learn new techniques and apply them to her work in order to make a living. She shows her intelligent in unique way, that many fail to see. Her work requires a high level of cognitive thinking and fast thought process. Although Rosie may not have a high literacy or mathematics level Rose states “analytic moments can be part of routine activities, and seemingly basic reading and writing can be cognitively rich. Because workplace language is used in the flow of other activities, we can overlook the remarkable coordination of words, numbers, and drawings required to initiate and direct action” (Rose). In other words separating all blue collared workers to be unintelligent robots who perform routine, repetitive, mindless work, only reinforces the labeling of them to be less intelligent than others. They are in fact very smart and have developed their own way of learning that suits them best, their ability to perform well at their job proves so.
Now imagine some of those bright, blue-collar workers that went straight to work after High school, what would their lives look like if they went to school? I completely agree with Rose when he states that a formal education should not be used as a measurement of someones